The picturesque beach town of La Jolla, California is known for the seals that bask en mass across its shores. Up until last week, when it became known for massive amounts of illegal ivory.
If you want to see elephants or their tusks, you'd usually have to head a few exits down the I-5 South to the San Diego Zoo. Unless, it seems, you knew where to look.
The Carlton Gallery in the center of La Jolla was hiding $1.3 Million dollars worth of ivory. In plain sight. How did the daring detectives crack this case? They looked in the window of the gallery where some of the ivory objects were prominently displayed. The sale of ivory was banned across California in 2016.
The gallery owner and one of its salesmen have been charged with multiple misdemeanors -- which could lead to jail time or fines up to $40,000. San Diego City Attorney hopes this sends a clear message to others who might be perpetrating (or thinking of perpetrating) similar crimes.
“Ivory trafficking is an illegal and reprehensible business that encourages the senseless slaughter of elephants and other endangered species,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said. “I hope this prosecution sends a strong message to anyone who sells or is thinking about selling ivory on the black market in San Diego: We will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”